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vancing and irresistible tide of opinion, "Thus far shalt thou come, and no farther.” His was a worthier, and more rational ambition. He directed his talents, and his strength of character, to the work of assuaging, ra
ther than inflaming the angry passions of disputants, • and of preventing, as far as possible, the assumption of
undelegated, and unrighteous domination. He thought that Christians might agree in love, if they could not in doctrine; and that encouraging and assisting each other in every good work, they might leave conscience and opinion with Him who alone can judge the heart.
With these sentiments he mingled in social and Christian intercourse with the unitarian clergymen of Boston and the neighbouring towns; took a part in their councils and ordinations; preached in their pulpits, and invited them into his own; and evinced by his conduct on every occasion, that he regarded them as disciples and servants of the same Master, whom he delighted to follow and to serve. And he was not a man who was to be taken to task for doing so. We have seen him in assemblies composed of clergymen of different denominations, and have admired the spirit and resolution with which he set his face against every attempt which was made by those of his own doctrinal sentiments, to prescribe a creed, to ordain a test, or to dictate in any way to the consciences of their brethren. At times like these, he spoke with an authority which few had the confidence to question, or resist. But it was the authority of his noble feelings and views, of the manner in which they were enforced, and of the years and character of him who enforced them.
We say that this union of liberal feelings and orthodox opinions, in the perfection in which it existed in
the character of Dr. Osgood, is rare, and deserving of all praise. We consider it as infinitely more honourable than any mere party distinction. It increased our reverence for him while he was in life, and it has made us anxious to pay this tribute to his memory.
Conversion of the Jews.
To the Editor.
You are aware that there has been much excitement in this quarter, of late, on the subject of converting the Jews. Of the person who has been the cause of it I shall say nothing. He is supported by some as a true convert, and an honest man, and by some he is charged with being a dissembler. Between these two opinions I have not had sufficient means of judging, and I shall wait for more precise and authentic information than I now happen to possess, before I make up my mind to give him my approbation in the one event, or my contempt in the other. I only wish to speak of the subject itself; and in doing so, I will not trouble
with critical examination of the texts of Scripture, which have been quoted in reference to it, but merely offer a few thoughts which have occurred to me, since the matter has been so much agitated in public.
As a Christian, then, Sir, I regard the separate existence of the Jews, scattered as they are among the nations of the earth, as one of the great standing miracles of the Christian religion. It is one of the remarkable prophecies of our Saviour, remarkably fulfilled. Now
it appears to me, that if they should be converted, this separate existence would no longer be maintained. When Christians, they would intermarry with Christians, abandon their peculiar rites and fashions, and be no longer distinguished from Christians. How in this state they could be restored, as a people, to Jerusalem, is past my power to comprehend. Let us be consistent. If there are any prophecies which speak of the conversion of the Jews, they speak in equally as strong a manner of their restoration to their ancient city; and how is this latter to be accomplished, when they are no longer a distinct people? We had better be patient, till the Almighty in his good pleasure shall point out to us some way of acting with advantage as his instruments; and not go blindly to work in employing time and means which might be better devoted.
It is my opinion too, and I am not alone in it, that the means which are made use of in these converting purposes, are not only inadequate, but absolutely futile. We all know that the doctrine to which the Jews are the most zealously and resolutely attached, is the simple and personal unity of God. And yet the very first article in which a Christian attempts to indoctrinate a Jew, is the rinity of the Godhead. How are we going to change the opinions of a whole people in this respect? How are we going to make them renounce a doctrine which they hold so tenaciously, and embrace one to which they could never be brought to listen?Not, I suspect, Sir, by sending a few poor children to school in London, or by establishing a colony in the interior of New York.
And who are this people whose ignorance is so feel ingly commiserated? What are their doctrines, and !. whom do they adore? Do they bow down to the spirit
of evil, to fire, to the sun, or the moon? One would think so, to hear the language and the tone in which they are so often mentioned. But they worship the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God whom we worship, and whom our Saviour himself worshipped. We now read in our churches, and to our children, the books which they esteem most sacred, and which they reverence as their law and their guide. They were the people who preserved those books, while the rest of the world was in darkness;
“Even they who kept the faith so pure of old,
When all our fathers worship'd stocks and stones.” But it is said that they are degraded, and servile, and crafty, and dissembling. And if they are, I answer, what has made them so? Have they not been oppressed, wronged, insulted, and crushed, by every nation under heaven, till degradation and servility were written as a sign upon their hand, and as frontlets between their eyes! Have not their goods and their possessions been extorted from them, have they not been imprisoned, beaten, persecuted, banished, tortured, and put to death, because of their faith, and that too by those, whose faith was not to be compared in purity to their own? And whatever vices of character this most unholy and unchristian tyranny has occasioned in this outlawed race, one virtue at least it has never sha' ken; their constancy it has never overcome. In the
midst of all their sufferings they have clung fast to the faith of their fathers, and only clung to it the faster, when the sea of persecution was threatening to over
whelm them. If a body of Christians had undergone for their religion, the trials which thousands of Jews have undergone for theirs, Christendom would have proclaimed them martyrs, and called their constancy noble. It is noble. In Jews, it still is noble. If they worshipped brutes and vegetables, instead of the living God, I would lift up my voice, if I lifted it up alone, and pronounce it noble.
There surely is a majesty in this part of their character, which should command some respect from us, and redeem it from a portion of that odium which has so long been attached to it. Well might a Jew take up the language of a living poet, and say to his bigoted accuser,
“Were my bosom as false as thou deem'st it to be, I need not have wander'd from far Galilee; It was but abjuring my creed, to efface The curse, which thou say'st, is the 'crime of my race." If we are to convert the Jews, there is one method of doing it, which, though it has not, as yet, been much employed, will, I sincerely believe, prove by far the most efficacious of any. The method is this; that we show them something more of the spirit and influence of Christianity in our own conduct, especially toward themselves, than we hitherto have done. No one can attribute greater strength to the evidence, both internal and external, of the Christian Revelation, than I do. But how are we to induce an examination of this evidence, in the people whom we treat, and that too because we are Christians, and because they are Jews, with so much contumely? Is a man likely to take an interest in the creed of his persecutor? What regard could a Mexican have felt for the religion of Cortes,